Chapter 6- Acceptance
Disclaimer: I do not own anything
Sitka lifted the flap of Denahi's shelter gently and peered inside from his brother, though he already knew he would be there. For the past two days his brother had hardly left the shelter, preferring to stay secluded away from everyone else. He stepped inside, cautious of all the items his brother once treasured now littering the floor.
Approaching his brother, who by his quick down-casting of the eyes had noticed him, Sitka knelt down beside him. His brother continued to avoid eye contact and his attention was on fiddling with his totem, or at least he wished to convince that he was. The conflicted expression on his face gave away that his attention was certainly elsewhere.
Sitka bent down to sit beside him, but, quickly realised there wasn't enough room in Denahi's shelter, at least not with all the mess everywhere. With little other option he crouched beside Denahi, though his legs, ached at the action.
"You shouldn't feel so guilty."
Denahi shifted uncomfortably, though his gaze didn't stray from his totem as he repeatedly turned it over in his hands.
When a reply didn't follow, Sitka wondered whether his brother was even listening, either that or he was just refusing to answer.
After a moment, Sitka said, "You didn't know Kenai was the bear."
This brought a reaction from his brother, who's face had reddened and hands clenched at the statement.
"But-" he started angrily, his eyes now focused on Sitka.
"Denahi, listen to me," Sitka said firmly, "You were stupid. You let your vengeance get the better of you. But, you didn't and couldn't know that that had been Kenai."
Denahi shook his head wildly, "I shouldn't have been so stupid. I should have listened to you."
"Why didn't I listen to you?" he shouted, hurling his totem outside the shelter. Sitka sighed and placed a hand on his brother's shoulder. He waited a few moments for his brother to calm down, before answering his question.
"Well you weren't exactly acting by your totem, but you were angry and you weren't thinking. But, you shouldn't feel guilty, you weren't going to anyway at that last second. You wouldn't have killed Kenai, so there's no need to feel so guilty."
"Only because you were there," Denahi protested, though his voice was calm.
Sitka couldn't find the words to counter his protest. It was incredibly probable that if he hadn't been there, then Denahi might have gone through with killing Kenai. He dreaded to think what might have happened to Denahi if he did and found out it was his brother.
But, that hadn't happened.
Sitka stood up, "Well someone has to look after you." The words were both playful and serious, or at least he hoped they would be conveyed as such.
It took a moment for a response, which Sitka took as a sign his brother had understood that he would always look after him, no matter what.
"Alright." Denahi said at last. His pause made Sitka realised that it would take him time to forgive himself.
"Now, are you ready?"
The manhood ceremony would be starting soon enough and both Kenai and Denahi would be earning their totems, marking their journey into manhood. Although, Sitka wasn't sure that was an accurate word to use for his youngest brother. He wondered if bears even had an equivalent. He supposed he could try to ask Koda and Kenai, though the language barrier was still a problem. They had worked out how to communicate for some simple things, but the banter and questions between them just couldn't be conveyed.
He did mourn the loss of these interactions and he knew Denahi mourned them more. His younger sibling had hardly talked to Kenai since they had gotten back from the mountain and Sitka knew it was because he was frightened: frightened that his brother wouldn't or couldn't love him anymore.
Denahi grinned, "Of course I do. I always pay attention after all."
However, there was a small falter in his grin when he began to walk out the tent and Sitka caught him by the elbow before he left.
"He's still going to be our brother," he murmured. Denahi let his grin drop at this and stared at him.
"Are you sure?"
"Of course I am. He's our brother. Although, I suppose we have another brother as well."
The two shared a smile at this. Koda was an interesting character and was most certainly not as tame as he had appeared on the mountain. The two brothers regularly had their fish snatched from them by the young bear and more than once they had found him sleeping in Sitka's shelter.
"Here," Sitka whispered, handing the totem to his brother and giving him a smile.
"Let's go," Denahi said, opening the flap and laughing when they found Kenai was lying outside with Koda.
"Ready, little brothers?" Sitka questioned looking at the two bears.
His two bear brothers gave a short growl in approval and the group began to make their way up the mountain path to the manhood ceremony.
However, the wild laughing behind them made them pause.
"Little?" Denahi howled, rolling on the ground.
Sitka just sighed, before turning on his brother and wrestling him to the ground playfully.
And he wasn't surprised to feel the weight of two bears also joining in.
Apologies for the delay for getting this ending done. In regards to the last chapter posted I would like to thank reviewers: Cody the Pikachu, Writer65, HuggieBird and AlleyCAT19.
I've no plan to create a sequel for this, mostly because I wouldn't know where to take the story as it seems complete. Though, I have a two-shot on Brother Bear that is now out:
A Brother's Repercussion - Denahi didn't think the Great Spirits were being fair. Because, how could they be when he couldn't understand Kenai and Koda and the relations between them are therefore forced to become distant? However, Tanana might have the solution.
Finally, a big thank-you to everybody who has reviewed/favourited/followed and read this story. Your support was very appreciated.